Parcel Lockers – Bridging The Gap for Omnichannel Success


Why Omnichannel Conversion is Critical?

Omnichannel, which is also spelled as “Omni-channel” is basically a multichannel sales approach that aims to provide customers a seamless shopping experience. Simply put, it is an integration of all the sales channels on the back end, be it online shopping using a desktop or mobile device, over the telephone or in a physical brick-and-mortar store. Omnichannel retailing enables customers to buy virtually anything, from anywhere, and anytime.
The multichannel approach offers consumers more scope to shop and interact with retailers, get detailed information about products or categories, and a larger inventory. From the retailers’ perspective, they get opportunities to develop more lucrative relationships with their customers through a deeper understanding of their buying behaviour and preferences. Omni-channel is a critical element in the retail landscape due to its potential of larger market penetration.

The ‘Global Omnichannel Retail Index’ by PwC sets a rating system based on four key metrics – customer behaviour, the level of digitization, the potential of omnichannel, and infrastructure. The index further reveals the top three omnichannel countries, which are the US, the UK, Australia. Interestingly, China is leading in the omnichannel apparel/footwear and grocery segment.

Key Categories of Omnichannel Operational Synergies

Well, these categories are actually phases through which retailers shift from disparate channel operation to an optimized integration realm. In 2010, Harvard Business School identified these categories in one of its research papers.

The five categories are below:
1.Customer communication and promotion across multi-channels – This is a digital era when approximately two-thirds of consumers use the Internet to browse product/service categories, retailers can boost brand conversion and up-sell.

2.Using cross-channel information and marketing research for better decision making – Online sales produce valuable data on the conversation rates between display and sales for various products. Leveraging such information in other channels can help increase conversions.

3.Multi or Cross-channel price comparisons to create retail scope – Omnichannel integration not just suggests a similarity of price across all channels, it also highlights specific retail opportunities to optimize sales performance. Occasional or special one-off purchases may be best managed from a single distribution point, and can be sold online. Such variances can be noted and incorporated in specific channels.

4.Digitization of operation – Digitizing the various aspects of retail operation such as registrations, bills, operating manuals, and warranty documents across all channels can substantially reduce personnel and handling costs.

5.Shared assets and operations – Sharing assets and data across channels can create economies of scale and scope. For instance, data that captures product ratings, reviews or recommendations, can be used to formulate more effective retails strategies, be it online, in-store, in the catalog, and through the call center.

Besides using the capability matrix mentioned above, omnichannel retailers are also seeking advanced technology based solutions to weed out supply chain deficiencies. In this context, delivery options like Click & Collect or Automated Parcel Lockers can pave the way to drive conversions. A study by ‘Cybertrill’ shows that 65 percent consumers are making additional in-store purchases when picking up their parcels from parcel lockers. This is truly a great window of opportunity for omnichannel players.

Parcel Lockers – Bridging the Gap for Omnichannel Success

The rise of parcel lockers as an omnichannel fulfilment proposition is phenomenal! Simply put, Click & Collect/ Parcel Lockers can help bridge the gap between consumers’ buying desires and retailers offerings.

A survey by ‘Cognizant’ reveals the following distinct shopping patterns:
•Nearly 16.8 percent customers want to check or try products before buying
•50 percent of online shopping takes place during late afternoon or early evening
•41 percent of consumers often purchase additional items at the time of picking up their order.

Keeping in mind the above patterns, retailers can provide more store reserves and pick-up options to encourage traditional (brick-and-mortar) consumers to shop online. Retailers can also extend the order cut-off times so that shoppers take advantage of the offers. In addition, it is also crucial to re-engineer the Click & Collect processes to enhance customer experience. In this way, retailers can keep up with increasingly demanding customers, who seek more freedom and convenience during their online shopping and whose buying behaviour is omnichannel. According to the current trend, consumer electronics, appliances, and media products are the segments that have the highest omnichannel penetration in the global scale.

Omnichannel Retailing – How India Fares?

If we go by the ‘Global Omnichannel Retail Index,’ between the scale of 1 and 100, India stands at 31. It means, out of 19 countries included in the index, India is at the 17th position, just ahead of South Africa and Brazil. It is, however, just a beginning phase for India when it comes to omnichannel integration.

The Indian digital retail market has a huge potential to grow at a compounded rate (CAGR) in the coming years. Keeping this in mind reputed Indian brick-and-mortar retail arms of Tata Group, Aditya Birla, Future Group, and others are gearing up for e-commerce by unfolding their omnichannel strategies to create great consumer experience and increase profitability.

Now that the traditional retailers in India are entering the digital platform and competing with the e-commerce giants – delivery fulfilment, and customer convenience will be decisive factors. This is why omnichannel fulfilment process like automated parcel lockers may prove to be a vital cog in the wheel.

To learn more about incorporating parcel lockers as part of the retail supply chain, you can browse our website – Smartbox has launched India’s first network of Automated Parcel Delivery Terminals. We are helping out major retail players and e-commerce sites to streamline their delivery process by installing parcel lockers. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at 8882-760-760, and we will be glad to assist you.


This entry has 1 replies

  1. Cool says:

    Many thanks very helpful. Will share site with my good friends.

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